Bribery took place on Sunday as I enticed members of the family to an old rubbish dump in Halifax with the promise of chips and mayo, cowbells, urban foxes and fun – oh and there would be some cyclocross racing going on as well. Like pirates seeking treasure there was a pin in the map where we needed to get to and we parked up and wandered along following the mystery green arrows and assorted characters who were in the know. Reminded me a bit of raves and what not back in the day a field somewhere, vans parked up and people milling about in groups while the rest of the world had no idea what was going on.
I’ve only been to one cyclocross event before but was immediately taken by the whole thing but this event seemed a bit of a different ball game all together. For a start there was a DJ (in a field – told you it was like a rave) which could have been very annoying but luckily he was spinning good tunes throughout the day (nice job Mr DJ), secondly apart from great coffee there was cracking street food available (hog roast, wood fired pizza and my old fav No Fishy Business and his lime and chili batter – not to mention chips and mayo !) and thirdly there was a bar. Excellent.
Even though we arrived early there were plenty of people and bikes all over the shop and I tried to get my bearings and work out the course. One of my kids asked me who would win, having no idea whatsoever I pointed to the blinged out Hope crew warming up on turbos and said probably one of them. Right says my young one I’m cheering for any underdogs and anyone who smiles when I rattle my cowbell – where do we get them from Dad….. umm over there says I hopefully. Quick tramp across the grass and we were Kinesis Kowbelled up and ready to go.
The kids up first were great fun, although some of them were a bit scary (!) and some of the dads certainly were – you seriously need to chill out dudes – but the effort and skill that was on display was incredible and we supported everyone. This repeated itself throughout the day as race category after race category quickly came and went in short sharp (and painful) heats (or motos I believe is the technical term) with effort, skill and plenty of smiles being shown throughout.
I think our favourite race was the Novice race (I was trying to work out if I’d have gone in the novice or the veterans) but I think plenty of the novices had a different definition to me on what a novice is. Some amazing bike handling on display but plenty of great characters as well. I particularly liked one line choice up a steep hill and down a scary descent or flat and stop for a mandatory beer supplied by the Dark Star Brewery – clearly you take the beer short cut don’t you ! I think that all of the adult races should have incorporated a mandatory beer stop. Much hilarity was also caused by the Vulpine tent where our urban foxes lurked ably abetted by pesky kids throwing cabbages at the riders ! Cazy but hilarious.
When I went to my first cyclocross I thought that perhaps I might be able to do it if I worked hard at fitness, got a cyclocross bike and found some courage from somewhere. I looked at this one and really really fancy giving it a go but I’m not sure I could have got round this course, the uphills were severe and the downhills were scary. However all I’ve done since when cycling in and out of work is think about it could I could I could I. I want to try and next season you may see the Snail in action. Don’t forget to cheer and you will be rewarded with a smile.
I took a few snaps of the event but I particularly liked the two at the top of the page which summed it up for me – yes it’s tough, but it’s also tinged with craziness, cowbells and laughter.
Check out this great video of the event by @whitenosugartv